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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Barrow charity shop bounces back after devastating store fire

A CHARITY shop in Barrow which was badly damaged in an electrical fire has hopes of a super 2014.

ON THE UP Staff celebrate a successful year at the British Heart Foundation goods store in Portland Walk, Barrow, despite the store being hit by a devastating fire last December. Pictured: (front) volunteer Heather Armstrong, (back, from left) warehouse supervisor Jon Hawkins, volunteers Sarah Kysh, Scott Barnes and store manager Philip Hetherington LINDSEY DICKINGS

The British Heart Foundation furniture and electrical goods shop was gutted in a blaze on December 29, 2012.

The store in Barrow’s Portland Walk had only been open for four months when catastrophe struck.

Thousands of pounds worth of stock was lost for the charity, which raises money for lifesaving research, heart nurses and defibrillators.

The first few months of 2013 were characterised by a huge effort to find new stock for the store and get it back up and running.

The store was shut for some four months but in April there was a large queue outside for the grand reopening. Barrow mayor, Councillor Wendy Maddox, who had opened the store back in August, 2012 once again cut the ribbon.

The charity was blown away by its re-opening day takings of £9,500.

Phil Hetherington, manager of the store said: “I started working in Barrow in the first week in January but the shop was burnt out after the fire on December 29.

“We worked from Steeles Removals collecting stock while the store was being refurbished.

“There was really hard work from everyone to get the store reopened.

“We had a grand reopening on April 16 and the community has really backed us this year, and we thank them.

“Our hopes for 2014 are to get bigger and better, the only way is up.”

The store has its sale until January 4 and in February the charity will run its Rampant Red campaign.

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